Writer: Felipe Smith
Cover Art: Tradd Moore
Colorist: Val Staples
Marvel began to reboot their comic book characters a while ago. This year we got some nice additions to the “All-New Marvel NOW” series and among them is one I was heavily excited for, Ghost Rider. Danny Ketch is now doing his own thing wandering around and a new rider arrives. Robbie Reyes is a high school senior and motorcycles are not his thing. The first issue obviously sets up some backstory for Robbie and what kind of character he is, but we all know the real reason to get this comic is to see how he turns into the rider and how well the muscle car works has a vehicle instead of the coveted motorcycle. Warning: This review contains every spoiler imaginable for All-New Ghost Rider #1. You have been warned. If you just want to know if it is good or not, skip to the bottom for the score.
Robbie Reyes works as a mechanic to support himself and his brother Gabe. He is also a senior in high school. With his parents nowhere to be found it is up to Robbie to care for Gabe, who happens to be in a wheelchair. Gabe gets jumped by a small group of thugs who begin to berate and be mean to the kind young kid. They throw him in a puddle, make fun of him, and take his wheelchair. Luckily Robbie swoops in to help Gabe. He gets a few lucky shots in, but these thugs are packing guns. He gets beat up and picks Gabe up. After the fight you begin to see what of kind character Robbie is.
Gabe is so innocent; he just wants Robbie to be happy. He tells him that he is his hero and that Robbie saved Gabe. The moment is really touching because even though Gabe lost his wheelchair and Robbie got the crap beat out of him, his brother still thinks he is the coolest cat around. Personally, I found this part really touching since I can relate to Robbie. Since being a small time mechanic and in high school does not net you much money, Robbie and Gabe live in a crime stricken neighborhood. Robbie does his best to not expose his brother to the numerous gunshots outside or the large presence of police.
Robbie is sick of living the life he currently is and he just wants to get Gabe out of the neighborhood. He returns to his garage and takes out the car he was working on. This is the muscle car in question. He enters a street race with the grand prize being 50 grand in cash. He enters wagering the car he has been fixing up. The race is a “scene” that really shows the creative nature of the art. As he is beginning to win the race, a spotlight shows up on him and a helicopter is flying. He assumes it is police and he tries to outrun the chopper. He takes a few wrong turns and ends up at a dead end.
Men get out of the chopper and point guns at Robbie. He gets on his knees, pleading for his life. The “police” officers open the trunk of the car and take out bags filled with drugs. None of which Robbie knew about since it was not his car. Robbie is then killed in a flurry of bullets to make sure there were no witnesses. In his last moments he catches a glimpse of one of the men that were taking the drugs. They leave, and he is quickly engulfed in a body of flame, transforming him into the Ghost Rider. Robbie gets into the car, and speeds off to exact his revenge.
Now, I was apprehensive at first about a car being the vehicle instead of a motorcycle. I can safely say it worked very well for the teaser of it we were given at the end of the issue. This could shape up to be a great series just by what kind of person Robbie is. With Johnny Blaze and Danny Ketch you had adults being the rider. They already had their own morals and full life experiences. Robbie Reyes has not had all of that. He not only has to learn what it means to be a rider, but he has to decide what kind of man he has to be for his brother. This kind of problem, I feel, is very new to the Ghost Rider universe and it is very much welcomed.
The art style and coloring from Nelson Daniel, Val Staples, and Tradd Moore do a great job shaking up the usual comic book art style to give us something really different. Felipe Smith did a great job introducing Robbie’s because it feels fresh. This wasn’t a flashback or anything; just a start of Robbie’s life. All-New Ghost Rider sticks out with unique-ness and originality among the new Marvel comics these days. The new Rider design is fantastic and this was a great beginning to a new series. Major props to everyone involved. Color me excited for issue #2.
5 out of 5 nerds